Ways to Obtain the Home Medical Equipment That Seniors Need

Many seniors need durable medical equipment to live safely at home. Paying for this equipment can sometimes be a challenge, but you have options. If you or a loved one needs wheelchairs, hospital beds or any other assistive devices to carry out basic tasks at home, here are three common ways you can obtain necessary medical equipment.

Talk with your doctor

Most American seniors are enrolled in a Medicare or Medicaid plan, which can pay for a portion or all of the expenses associated with receiving durable medical equipment. In order for Medicare Part B or Medicaid to pay for any medical equipment, including wheelchairs or hospital beds, they need to receive an order from your doctor, similar to a “prescription.” Your doctor will need to complete and submit all required paperwork related to the device you need. If you need a wheelchair to safely go about your daily activities, your doctor will need to verify that you meet the following criteria:

  • You have difficulty moving around your home with only a cane or walker
  • You’re unable to perform daily tasks like bathing or dressing on your own
  • You have a condition or disease that requires the use of a wheelchair at home
  • You have the ability to operate the wheelchair on your own, or you have access to a caregiver who can assist at all times

Whether you need a special bed or condition-specific durable medical equipment like a lift, oxygen concentrator or even a blood sugar monitor, you’ll need to meet the criteria set out by your insurance provider, and the doctor will need to submit verification on your behalf. Talk with your doctor or your insurance provider to determine what equipment is covered and at what amount, since some equipment can be completely covered while other types may only be partially covered.

Explore local lending programs

There are many nonprofit organizations that help seniors get the medical equipment they need for free with convenient borrowing programs. Many of the items in these programs have been donated by people who no longer need them, and they’re cleaned and repaired before they’re loaned out to people who can use them. It’s helpful to check with your local Agency on Aging to determine whether these programs exist in your area.

Pay out of pocket

While this isn’t the most attractive option for most people, paying out of pocket may be ideal when time is of the essence. There are some cases where you may need medical equipment immediately, and you just don’t have time to spare when it comes to waiting for the insurance company to provide coverage. Do your research and find an online medical equipment company that has the products you need at prices you can afford. If you or a loved one currently uses a home health care agency, they may have a supply of durable medical equipment at their disposal—it never hurts to ask.

Accessing the durable medical equipment you need can be pricy, but you should always remember you have options. Contact Penn York Medical to learn more about the best ways to pay for the equipment that will help you or a loved one live safely and comfortably at home.